Rick Sammon, in a piece for Peta Pixel on Seeing, describes the One-Picture-Promise:
When you are in a situation, imagine you only have one frame remaining on your memory card, and you can take only one picture. If you think like this, I make you this promise: You will have a more creative photograph. What’s more, during a photo outing, you will have a higher percentage of creative photographs and fewer outtakes.
Great advice. I chat about this topic of taking few frames as opposed to shooting many repeatedly in my podcast.
I believe there is a balance. If you approach photography as Sammon does you’ll slow down, compose far more purposefully, be sure of your camera settings, and likely create fewer but more accurate photographs. On the other hand, digital tools and processes have afforded the photographer the luxury of capturing many attempts to get an interesting photo at little to no more cost than capturing a single image. There is balance somewhere in the middle.
The subject of the photograph also should be taken into account. If you’re photographing humming birds, for instance, you’d likely need to fire off far more captures than if you were photographing a tree in a meadow.
This topic will resurface a lot in 2020 in my podcast as I will be shooting a lot of film – yes, film – in the new year. I’m super excited about it and I can’t wait to share that part of my photographic journey.